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Goldman Sachs: revelations from an unusual ex-MD

Maeve DuVally, the former Goldman Sachs managing director previously known as Michael who came out as trans in 2019, has written a memoir. If you're trans, either in banking or out, it's indispensable reading. But DuVally's insights are equally revelatory for everyone who aspires to work for Goldman Sachs. They suggest the firm is not necessarily what it seems.

DuVally, who worked in media relations for Goldman in New York for 18 years, acknowledges that Goldman Sachs was a "historically conservative institution." As Michael at work, she "dressed like Clark Kent." But she also reveals a sensitive and open-minded place that supports its employees through difficult times.

Coming out as trans wasn't DuVally's only struggle. She only came to appreciate that she was trans after a battle with alcoholism. Duvally was an alcoholic for four decades, both before and after she became a managing director at Goldman Sachs. She says she would "try anything" she was offered. Alcohol was her main vice, but before Goldman she also took speed, coke, mushrooms, and mescaline.

Heavy drinking didn't stop her from becoming an MD. "I was named a managing director in 2010," says DuVally. "I received the news while working in the London office and went out to lunch to celebrate with one of my co-workers at a pub...I had no reason to believe my drinking would interfere with the progression of my career at Goldman."

Eight years later, though, DuVally's drinking and the challenging childhood she was drinking to forget precipitated a suicide attempt and a period in detox:  "I had my last drink on January 18, 2018," she writes. During a nadir when she was AWOL for a week and wouldn't pick up her phone, Goldman's security team helped look for her. When she was ready to come back to work, her then-boss, Jake Siewert, said they were glad she was ok and offered to lighten her responsibilities. 

Shortly after that, Michael came out as Maeve. It was Goldman's LGBTQ+ Affinity Network that gave her the courage to do so. A British woman called Lisa in Goldman's HR team helped her manage the process of informing the journalists she spoke to in her day job. A nurse at Goldman Sachs recommended a therapist who specialized in transgender patients that came out late in life.  

Maeve left Goldman in June 2022. She now works as a consultant for her own firm, Glasheen & Co. It's not clear whether DuVally left Goldman because she wanted to or because she was encouraged into retirement like many MDs. However, her memoir makes it clear that Goldman Sachs isn't the harsh employer some might expect: it looks after its people and makes allowances when they are experiencing difficulties. Some might disagree, but this was the case in the media relations team in the recent past. 

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AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor

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